Wednesday, November 26, 2014




It was one direction only for the Channels duo of Jason Levermore  and Neil Hutchinson at the Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge – just a day after catching the wrong bus in Turkey!
Sodden and desperate for a hot shower following their rain-hit practice round over the PGA Sultan course at Antalya Golf Club, what the duo got instead was a tour of the golf courses of southern Turkey after getting on the wrong minibus.
Fast forward 24 hours and the Essex duo had very little difficulty navigating the PGA Sultan’s 18 holes in glorious sunshine as they opened up a three-shot lead on the first day of the £25,000 tournament supported by Canopius.
A first round five-under-par 66, comprised of three birdies from PGA pro Levermore, two nett birdies plus a stylish nett eagle on 16 from Hutchinson plus one double bogey, gave the pair some breathing space over the rest of the 10-team field.
Three teams share second place on 69: Ashburnham’s Martin Stimson and captain Martin Hale; Cirencester’s Ed Goodwin and captain Mark Woodhead plus two time winners Little Aston steered by Brian Rimmer and captain Geoffrey Hands.
The partnership between Levermore and Hutchinson, on and off the course, was a key ingredient to their rise to the top of the leaderboard.
“We’ve played a lot of social golf and captain pro matches together,” said Levermore, who quipped the captain was at the club as often as he was.
“We’ve probably played about 15-20 rounds together and know each other’s game. It also helps how we are on the course. We just have the usual banter, it’s never too serious. We take the mick out of each other if we hit a duff one so it’s all nice and friendly and stress free.”
Hutchinson played a key role in getting the pair to the summit at the halfway stage in Turkey, but acknowledged that Levermore, who took on the role of head professional last year, not only played his part today but has been a tremendous asset for the club.
“Jason just played solid,” said Hutchinson.
“It makes my game a lot easier knowing I’ve got a solid partner. I came in on a few holes, which is what it’s about.
“During my year as captain he’s been a tremendous support. Good fun as well. When things are going slightly wrong we can have a laugh about it, rather than taking it too seriously.
“What he’s done for our club is tremendous. He’s really passionate about the golf and for the club it’s really good having him as he’s not only a good player he’s a winner.”
The tournament, now in its second year of sponsorship from Golfplan, concludes tomorrow.
Scotland's Garry Forrester, director of golf at  St Andrews Golf School, and Mike Cordiner, captain of St Andrews Golf Club, are lying joint fifth on 70, a round that deviated from par at only three holes. The Scots had birdies at the 12th and 16th after a bogey 4 at the short eighth.

Par 71 professionals named first
66 J Levermore and N Hutchinson (Channels GC)
69 M Stimson and M Hale (Ashburnham), E Goodwin and M Woodhead (Cirencester), B Rimmer and G Hands (Little Aston).
70 G Forrester (St Andrews Golf School) and M Cordiner (St Andrews GC) (T5)



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